Do You Recognize This Tape Archive Support Anomaly?

Two tape storage disks with tape unspooling from them

Posted on Thursday, October 10, 2019

One of the hardest working systems in your data center is the tape archive. Every night, terabytes of data are written to removable media and no one ever notices there’s a problem until the drive fails.

There is a definite problem, however– the OEM maintenance period for your tape library. Storagetek, Tandberg, HPE or Quantum– almost every vendor operates on a three- to five-year lifespan for their hardware.

Improving your archiving strategy

The reality is that a high-end tape archiving solution will have a capacity that exceeds your data estate. And modern compression algorithms mean that unlike disk arrays, LTO will keep pace with capacity growth over time, too. 

This means that your drives will continue to provide value long after the vendor withdraws support for them. You then face a choice– follow the OEM-defined upgrade path and replace your library or retain your current system without official support. 

A ‘low-risk’ risk

Tape libraries are remarkably resilient, with long periods between failure. Some CTOs may be tempted to take responsibility for support in-house, shouldering any risks themselves.

But as always, the real risk lies in sourcing and fitting spares. As tape drives age, they are more likely to experience electro-mechanical failures. And without timely access to spare parts, your backup regime could be compromised for days at a time.

CDS can help you get the best of both worlds. Our post-warranty support services ensure guaranteed access to OEM-approved spares for supported drives– so you can trust us to keep your archive regime running. And we can keep your libraries running for many years after the OEM withdraws support.

Which places you back in control of your tape archiving strategy and allows you to realise maximum return on investment. Ready to learn more? Give us a call.

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